Friday, 16 September 2016

Taking Back the Lunch Break

I have recently re-entered the world of full time office work. It brings with it a more stable routine, daily fulfilment and potential for career development. But it also brings may uncharted waters to navigate; dress codes, work colleague relationships, meetings and the most unsure of all.. lunch breaks. Having worked in advertising and design agencies the hours were 9am-6pm with overtime expected and most people sitting at their desks during lunch eating while they work and not actually taking a break. Over time I found this immensely stressful. It's good for you and ultimately more productive to take a step back. Yet with no one taking that time out it is so easy to feel pressured into doing the same.

Whether that mindset is exclusive to fast paced industries I would love to know. My new work however is set in a quirky old building in South London and doesn't seem to have this kind of pressure. While, yes people do still often sit at their desks. It offers a freedom I associate with being in a studio at university. My lunch breaks have throughly been encouraged. To enjoy the sunshine, to visit White Cube, the food markets or simply walk around. Begging the question whether the lunch break culture is a collective result of all those who work in the office and their perspective? Or simply due to the pressures of the job and the amount of work you have piling up?

Either way I have been in love with lunch breaks these past few weeks. In London there is so much to explore even within a 10/15min walk from the office. The unexpected heat has certainly coaxed me out of the office into local parks and phone calls with friends. And I find I return to the office a happier me, more peaceful and energised to make the most of the day. 

How do you spend your lunch break?


4 comments so far

  1. Lovely and thoughtful post, I think it’s so important to have breaks in between. I work part-time from home so my circumstances may differ from yours but I found reading your post inspiring. I love the photographs you have taken, they show the city of London so nicely. :-) xx

    Helen | Helens Fashion & Beauty Blog

    1. Hi Helen, thank you for your lovely comment. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! Taking breaks is really so important. It's silly how it is congratulated to work long and taxing hours with self care taking a backseat. What's your favourite kind of break? x

  2. Whenever I work in an office I always take an hour for lunch, to get some head space away from the desk, some vitamin D daylight and a walk. Ironically, now I can work from home I seem to be worse at planning breaks, tending to take one after my work is done. To balance this out I have taken an interest in urban sketching, as that gives me another reason to go outside.As you can see, I've been putting more of those on my Instagram account lately. :)

    1. Hi Suzanna, sorry it's taken me so long to respond! The year seems to be running away with me. I completely understand what you mean. When we are surrounded by home comforts it can be difficult to maintain the same kind of office routine. Sketching on your breaks sounds like a great solution! I'll keep my eyes peeled on instagram.


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